A third of UK firms have content teams but many lack strategy, report finds

Content marketing has become so mainstream that 30 per cent of UK firms now employ in-house content professionals - but these teams sometimes face a lack of strategic direction and too much interference, a new report says.

Sticky Content, a content agency that is now part of the Press Association, surveyed people from 283 companies, and found 30 per cent of firms had people whose full-time responsibility was planning, creating, delivering or governing content.

According to Content Culture in the UK, another 40 per cent of respondents said their organisation valued content as important, but did not have a team to manage it, generally leaving marketing departments with that responsibility.

However, a third of those surveyed also said that senior management had a negative impact on content quality, and the respondents also revealed that nearly half of all written content never gets published in 15 per cent of organisations.

More than two-thirds of those responding to the survey said the biggest challenge to producing good content was a lack of clear direction, as evidenced by an absence of content strategy, guidelines, workflows or understanding about target audiences.

In addition, 54 per cent of respondents said that difficulties with getting timely feedback on content was the biggest challenge to getting it published, followed by 46 per cent saying the biggest challenge was briefs that changed after content had already been created.

Emily Shelley, managing director of Sticky Content, said: "It’s positive to see that a large number of companies have dedicated content teams, but disappointingly many still don’t have a clear strategy in place. Without a coherent plan mapped to business goals, to which the whole company can sign up, it’s very difficult for teams to make progress."

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